Gambling has had a long-standing association with tennis, and it has evolved over the years alongside the sport itself. Here’s an overview of the history of gambling in tennis and how people have traditionally placed bets on tennis matches:
Tennis has roots that can be traced back to 12th century France, where a game called “jeu de paume” was played. It involved hitting a ball with the palm of the hand. As the sport evolved, it gained popularity across Europe, and with that, informal betting among spectators also became commonplace.
Development of Professional Tennis
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, tennis started transitioning into a more professional sport. Tournaments, such as Wimbledon (established in 1877) and the US Open (established in 1881), began to gain prominence. As the sport grew in popularity, so did the interest in betting on tennis matches.
In the early years, spectators would often place bets among themselves or with bookmakers present at the tennis venues. These bets were typically informal and involved wagering on the outcome of matches or specific events within a match, such as the winner of a set or the number of games played.
Spread of Off-Site Betting
With the advent of telecommunication and technology, off-site betting on tennis matches became increasingly popular. This allowed individuals to place bets on tennis matches without physically being present at the venue. Off-site betting includes various forms such as phone betting, online betting platforms, and more recently, mobile apps.
Rise of Online Betting
The internet revolutionised the gambling industry, including tennis betting. Online sportsbooks and betting exchanges provided a convenient platform for people to place bets on tennis matches from the comfort of their homes. These platforms offer a wide range of betting options, including wagering on match winners, set scores, game scores, and even specific events within a match.
Match Fixing and Integrity Concerns
In recent years, tennis has faced issues related to match-fixing and gambling-related corruption. Some players have been implicated in manipulating match outcomes for financial gain. These incidents have raised concerns about the integrity of the sport and led to efforts by tennis governing bodies to combat match-fixing and ensure fair play.
Regulations and Monitoring
To address the integrity concerns, tennis organisations and regulatory bodies have implemented stricter rules and monitoring systems. They collaborate with sports integrity units, betting operators, and law enforcement agencies to detect suspicious betting patterns and investigate potential cases of match-fixing.
It’s important to note that while gambling on tennis can be an entertaining activity for many, it is essential to do so responsibly and within the legal frameworks established in respective jurisdictions. Additionally, players, officials, and those associated with tennis are subject to strict rules and regulations that prohibit them from engaging in gambling activities related to the sport.